"Why did you have to bring her
Allison's words were just as cold as the stare she gave Martina, when we arrived at the doctor's office hand in hand. There was absolutely no doubt that she was jealous.
"Because if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here," I grunted back and made sure Martina was comfortable before I sat down next to her.
"Ignore her," I whispered to her, and she smiled shortly. I could only imagine how much this must cost her. I mean, she was literally present at her boyfriend's former fuck buddy's pregnancy appointment. How brave is that?
"She's not allowed in there, if that's what you think," Allison nagged with an attitude. I was already annoyed.
"Like she would want that," I retorted with an eye roll. And just to tick her off, I turned to Martina.
"What date is it today, babe?"
She raised her eyebrows and I could see on her face that she slowly figured out what I was thinking. That's probably why she was reluctant to answer. She didn't want to be trapped in the crossfire if this turned out to be an argument. I didn't blame her. I wouldn't either.
"Last day of March."
"Ahh... That's right," I nodded. I already knew that. I'd been counting the days until I would find out whether the child was mine or not. April 5th. My saving day.
"Only a few days until we find out what the paternity test shows, isn't it?"
Allison seemed nervous, just like all the other times I'd brought that up, which probably meant that she wasn't completely sure herself. The fact that she didn't even make a comment on what I said right now, only made me question it even more.
"Allison Kylie Clarkson?"
The female doctor got our attention, and Allison got up and started walking toward her. Then, when I didn't follow quick enough, she turned and gave me a short glare.
"He's here today," she said proudly to the doctor, who smiled in surprise.
"Really? Your baby daddy? How wonderful. May I congratulate you in advance. Your baby girl will be here any day now."
I mumbled a thank you, and wished I could ask her a couple of questions in private. And I didn't mean for her number or if she preferred missionary or doggy style.
She's definitely a missionary anyway. Boring.
I gave Martina a half-smile that told her that she was the only one who had my heart, and she returned it with one of her own. Then I followed the doctor and Allison into the office with a huff.
It was strange to see Allison laying on the bench with her protruding belly at full display. I could see something move on the screen on the wall, but it was hard to see what it was. All I knew is that it looked completely different from the first time I joined her.
"Are you sure there's only one in there?" I asked, suddenly nervous. I didn't trust Allison one bit, but the doctor was different. She wasn't allowed to lie.
"Yes," she laughed.
"But your daughter is so big now, there's hardly room for her anymore. And the way she's positioned and ready for birth now makes it hard to see her face."
She put the ultrasound away and took all kinds of measurements of Allison's stomach, before she put on a pair of latex gloves and prepared to check between her legs.
Fuck! Keep your focus straight, Aaron. This is not some freaky kind of porn.
"Thank God," I mumbled to myself when she was done.
"Your cervix is soft and has flattened like it should, and you're about 3 cm dilated, which is quite normal at this stage. Your body prepares to give birth, and that takes time. Many women can be both 5-6 inches dilated, and still not necessarily considered to be in labor."
Allison was trying to hide her excitement, probably because I was there.
"So it can happen tonight?" I asked, feeling hopeful.
"It's difficult to say. It can happen fast or take days. Sometimes a whole week past the estimated due date."
"A week?!" I exclaimed, and the doctor frowned a bit.
"Uhm... Yes. Unless you're having a c-section you can't really plan the exact time."
I clenched my jaw and sighed. I wanted so badly to ask...
No, Aaron. You know you'll blow up if it turns out that you were right. Now is not the time. Just a few more days now. You can handle the wait.
"Isn't there anything we can do to speed up the process?"
The doctor suggested several things, but none of them sounded especially effective. I mean, what difference does a cup of tea make?
"...or you can repeat what brought her in there in the first place."
My eruption caused both women to jump and stare at me, and I quickly calmed myself down.
"I'm sorry. Did I say something I shouldn't?" the doctor asked, and looked a bit remorseful.
Ah... Allison hasn't told her about our situation, has she? Of course, she hasn't. Well, privacy my ass, because now I'm gonna ask anyway.
"How big is the risk of having a paternity test done before birth?"
The question made everything click for the doctor. I could see it, because her expression changed and it wasn't in my favor, that's for sure. But at least she would tell me the truth.
"In a normal, healthy pregnancy like this, I would think it would be quite safe."
I stared hard at Allison while the doctor spoke, and she reacted just like I thought she would. It was clear as a day that Allison had lied to me. She could have taken that test months ago. Who knows, maybe she already did but didn't tell me? I mean, she waited five months to tell me she was pregnant.
"...but this late in the pregnancy, the baby will probably be here before the result. So I advise you to..."
"Thanks," I said and cut her off with a polite nod. I kept my eyes glued on Allison to make it perfectly clear that I'd called her bluff. I only wished I had done it before, but I'd been too lost in my own head to think straight. These past few months it seemed like all the crap I'd swept under the rug through the years suddenly decided to unite, and slap me in the face at once. This baby was just one problem out of many.
"Are we done? I have places to be."
Now, this is when Martina would have slapped your head, Aaron, and you know it.
"Yes, that should be it," the doctor said, and helped Allison wipe the examination lube off her belly. Then Allison was told to call if something happened or if she got into labor, and I could literally feel the doctor purse her lip and shake her head behind my back. Still though, the feeling of being lied to was too strong to make me care too much about it.
And if it turns out that you're wrong...? No. That can't be. Seriously.
I didn't say goodbye to Allison when we left. I couldn't even look at her. I just grabbed Martina's hand and led the way out. And since I didn't say anything, she didn't either. I mentally thanked her for that. I didn't want to take my anger out on her. But after sitting on a bench in the park for a while, I took a deep sigh and let it go.
"I'm sorry," I said, and kissed her palm that was already cradled in mine.
"It's okay. I understand," she said lightly, but I noticed that she sounded sad.
"Hey. Are you alright?"
I brought my other hand up to her face and made her look at me, and I finally got her to smile. But her eyes were still sad.
"Yeah. I'm just tired. We don't really sleep much at night, do we?"
I giggled and she shoulder bumped me playfully.
"I didn't hear you complaining about that last night," I growled deeply, and watched her squirm a bit.
"As if I would ever do that," she smirked back, and fell naturally into my body when I hugged her and kissed her temple.
"You can sleep while I'm at work."
She smiled, but I could see it. She was a lot more tired than I thought.
"When will you be home?" she asked, and tried to hold back a yawn.
"Probably around 6pm. Maybe a little later."
"Okay. I'll have dinner ready, then."
I smiled. The silliest smile in history.
"What?" she giggled.
"Nothing," I said, but it was impossible to wipe the stupid grin off my face.
"Tell me," she urged, and I chuckled.
"It's just that I haven't had anyone waiting for me when I get home. Much less with a meal I already know will taste delicious."
"Didn't Bree...?" she started, but started laughing when I gave her a bored stare. No answer was needed.
"Do you need anything from the store before I take you home?" I asked, and slapped my thighs the second before I got up.
"I don't think so. I think we remembered everything yesterday. We have milk, mangoes, lemon..."
She lost her track when I giggled and shook my head.
"What now?" she groaned, but she still smiled.
"Look at us, barely dating for two days and it's like we've been together for a lifetime."
We looked at each other, and Martina pulled my arm around her shoulders while we walked toward the car.
"A lifetime," she reiterated.
"I like that."
"Look who's here!" I heard, almost before I'd opened the door to the office.
"I think you dropped your beard somewhere. Did Santa steal it? I hope he remembers to bleach it then," Olivia teased, and I grumbled a 'piss off'.
Since when did the tables turn? You're the one cracking jokes on her behalf. Not the other way around, dammit.
"Seriously, man. You look a million times better. How are you feeling?" Dom asked, but I was too embarrassed to answer. I wasn't used to getting this much attention, and when Quentin and a client decided to join the party as well, I hid behind my computer and buried myself in our newest project. A new Hilton hotel.
"Don't think I'll let it go that easily," Dom snickered, and took his usual seat next to me.
"She's still here, right?"
"Mhm," I hummed, and tried not to smile. But just the thought of her made it impossible.
"I knew it would work!" he exclaimed, and fisted the air.
"Shut up," I mumbled. Why couldn't I get rid of that stupid grin?
"Dude! You're so in love you don't even look like yourself. I honestly can't believe you're the same guy as last week."
"That's what pussy therapy and some food does to you," I said, feeling a bit cocky. But Dom knew.
"I'm glad you're back," he said, and meant it.
"Yeah, me too."
Then I gave him a look that spoke more than words.
"Thanks, man. You saved my life."
"Aaron! It's time! You have to come!"
I groaned into the phone and tried not to wake Martina up, but Allison's voice was so loud and whiny that she did anyway.
"Shh, go back to sleep," I whispered, knowing that she needed rest.
"Aaron! Oh, no... Another oneeeee..."
I had to hold my phone away because she was screaming so loud, and I shook my head because my ear hurt. She was in labor. No doubt.
"Okay. Are you on your way or should I pick you up?" I asked, hoping for the first.
"Oh, my God. I think my water just broke! Holy cow! It did! My water..."
Then we're taking her car! She's not gonna fill my Mustang with all kinds of disgusting fluids and make scratches the leather seats and... No! Absolutely not!
"Allison! Listen to me. Are you on your way?"
There were some talking and shouting in the background, but at least she seemed calmer now.
"We just arrived at the hospital. Gosh, I can't believe my water broke in the middle of the parking lot! That's so embarrassing."
I was about to say something supportive, but my mind went blank. It was in the middle of the night, for Christ sake. Not even the birds had taken a crap yet.
"Oh, no. Here comes another contraction. Oh, my God! Aaron! Get your ass here! Now!"
Then she hung up and I rubbed my neck and stared at the screen. Was I ready for this? If the baby turned out to be mine after all, it would mean that there soon would be a tiny person crying and pooping all over my apartment. There would be lack of sleep and arguments about who changed the last diaper, and I would have to apologize profusely for...
"Aaron, baby. I think you should go."
Martina's hand on my shoulder pulled me back to reality. A weak smile that was supposed to encourage me only made me feel sad for leaving her here all alone in the middle of the night.
"Do you want me to be there?" she asked, but even I couldn't be that selfish. It was hard enough for her to deal with having a boyfriend who knocked up someone else. For her to physically be there and watch it all would be plain cruel.
"No, Bambi. Stay here. You need to rest."
She put up a pretend-offended grimace.
"Are you saying that I look horrible without my beauty sleep?"
"No, silly girl. You look amazing all the time, sleep or not. But it's the middle of the night, and you've been tired all day."
I kissed her forehead and dragged in her scent.
"Have I ever told you how good you smell?"
She tried not to, but she couldn't stop either the smile or the blush that crept onto her face. She looked adorable. But I still couldn't help but to tease her. So I lowered my voice and spoke into her neck, and I noticed the physical effect it had on her.
"Down there, too. Especially down there."
Then I pinched her nipple while I kissed her and chuckled.
"Love you, Bambi."
"Love you, Bambi," she repeated grumpily.
"That doesn't give you the right to... Ow!"
Yep. I pinched her other nipple too.
"Stop that!" she scolded, but she was too quick to laugh for me to take her seriously. But eventually she managed to chase me out of bed, kissed me goodbye and wished me good luck. And with that, I was off to find out if I could call myself a new dad.